Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design SMT Electronics Assembly Manufacturing Forum

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Gel Flex Support

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URL

#37540

Gel Flex Support | 2 November, 2005

We just got these, and they seem to work great for screen printing. I know many people use them for printing, but has anyone tried them for other processes such as placement?

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bobpan

#37544

Gel Flex Support | 2 November, 2005

what size/type/style are you using.....and where did you purchase them from????

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RDR

#37546

Gel Flex Support | 2 November, 2005

Do a search on "piggy" and you will find some info and a lot of humor on this.

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URL

#37547

Gel Flex Support | 2 November, 2005

Standard size for UP 2000 H tower. Just wanted to know if anyone went the extra step in the placement arena and saw any bounce or other problem at placement.

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#37553

Gel Flex Support | 2 November, 2005

Hi We've been given a similar system to trial on our own printers called the 'VacuNest'. It's similar to GelFlex etc and seems to give a very firm support and will hold its shape for months until the vacuum is released.

Has anyone else been using this system in a production environment.

One of the issues that customers have told us is that the Gel Flex support is not firm enough and that the maximum under side component height it can handle is 5mm.

Regards

Ian

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B. Tamland

#37554

Gel Flex Support | 2 November, 2005

I am looking for an alternate support system actually. We are currently using grid-lok supports and previously, we were using form flex. Both are very maintenance intensive.

Any literature available on these gel flexes?

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Burgandy

#37555

Gel Flex Support | 2 November, 2005

I would also like to get some literature on teh gel flexes. I agree on the grid-lok supports, they have been nothing but trouble for us.

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URL

#37561

Gel Flex Support | 2 November, 2005

Yeah this isn't too bad, but running hoses thru a vacuum assisted board support makes set-up difficult.

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URL

#37564

Gel Flex Support | 2 November, 2005

KEN

#37574

Gel Flex Support | 2 November, 2005

I beta tested these 6 months before general availability.

These devices worked well in some situations and mrginally in others. Migrating to Gel may depend on what your current issues are with your current tooling solutions. Generally speaking it works well. However, I will say this. If you're the kind of shop where the opeators run buck-shot over your printer programs, and in particular your printing parameters, then GEL is not for you. You can't just run your stndard 20Kg of squeegee pressure like you did on your previous rigid support system. You need discipline in program parameter (force, speed etc.) and equipment calibration (if running feedback systems). If you don't have process control in your system then GEL will be more of a headache than solution.

The largest setback is the price. Small shops will balk at the price. At the time the manufacturer cold not provide a realestic ROI.

As for using on P&P machines. With their permission I adapted the GEL for a fine placer application. Results were good. However, had major difficulty on parts larger than 5mm tall. Excess bowing was always a concern. Ultimately, I decided to not use it because it was no more beneficial than my current under board support.

Oh, and FYI I also beta tested grid-lok back in early 2000 (or 2001). We currenlty have seveal systems in place. There are trade-offs (too many to list). But my requirements were on support systems that provided error-resistant setup, adequate support that was not operator dependent. Gridlok was closer to the mark.

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SuMoTe

#37604

Gel Flex Support | 3 November, 2005

I did som,e testing with Gridloc myself, I only had the set for 30(ish) days. I founf the time it saved on setup to be well worth the cost. My employer, however, did not agree with me. what can you do?

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URL

#37618

Gel Flex Support | 3 November, 2005

Hmmmm.... We never had to change any parameters when switching over to Gels. And no, we don't let the operators have kitty-wampus on our programs either. The Gels did get rid of broken parts. We have Run Orders of about 50 pieces. We change over a lot and get about 20 Run Orders a day, times 4 lines, so by the time these Runs reach wave with broken parts, it would too late to make changes to the original printer set-up. And as they advertise, it did cut down on set-up time, thus the question about using them on a placement machine, it just seems to make sense. I was hoping someone could give me an idea of how high they made their Gels stand in the placement machine. Just slapping them into any machine would cause no affect or some bowing like you said if not properly engineered to the right height.

You like the Grid Loc? Well, I guess people like Yugos too (http://www.cardomain.com/member_pages?make=Yugo). We tried it for 3 weeks. A lot of hoses caused the vacuum to be low and if one of the plastic pins hit on the edge of a solder joint, IC leg, or other component partialy, the board would skew causing a misprint. We were up to about 30 misprints a day using the Grid Loc. It did almost justify a stencil washer! Then when they recommended the weight bags to hold the board down when "programming" the device, it started getting into that operator dependent area you were talking about. Plus, waiting for a board to get to the screen printer and then setting the machine up seemed a bit of a waste of time.

You Beta'ed the gel Flex too? Wow, I wonder who didn�t? I guess that's a good sales & marketing ploy on Speedline's part!

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#37653

Gel Flex Support | 4 November, 2005

Some clarification:

Max bottom side component is not 5mm as someone posted, its 12.7mm (0.5"). This is if you're going to have a Gel-Flex block under that component. Any component height at or over 12.7mm must not have a Gel-Flex block under it.

Also, Gel-Flex can be used in conjunction with rigid hand placed magnetic pin supports.

Most all Speedline Technologies representative have a Gel-Flex kit for the purpose of loaning to prospective customers for trials in order for them to make a better decision to purchase.

One nice feature over support pin systems is that board positioning is not as critical.

Price is less than $2,500

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KEN

#37662

Gel Flex Support | 5 November, 2005

At the time I evaluated grid lok it was not available for my printers. P&P only.

I see the Gel Flex has come down in price. Was $5500 bucks! The joke was the gold color comes from the gold nuggets inside the gel.

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#37693

Gel Flex Support | 7 November, 2005

> Hi We've been given a similar system to trial > on our own printers called the 'VacuNest'. It's > similar to GelFlex etc and seems to give a very > firm support and will hold its shape for months > until the vacuum is released. > > Has anyone else > been using this system in a production > environment. > > One of the issues that customers > have told us is that the Gel Flex support is not > firm enough and that the maximum under side > component height it can handle is > 5mm. > > Regards > > Ian

Dear Ian, VacuNest is now used on many industrial sites. Feel free to contact me if you need more information about VacuNest. Regards, Clement

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clement

#37771

Gel Flex Support | 10 November, 2005

You can find some informations about VacuNest on http://www.vacunest.com

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